With the country starting to get back on its feet, teens in Northumberland have been taking part in an initiative by NCS (National Citizen Service) to help rebuild local communities and create positive change.

Teens aged 16-17 are being invited by NCS to pledge their time to ‘Keep Doing Good’ by pledging at least 16 hours of volunteering in their local area. They can help support organisations such as food banks, care homes and charities, who all need extra help right now.

Thousands of teens across the country are taking part, and in Northumberland teams have already been carrying out projects with NCS delivery partner Groundwork North East.

Rachel Scott, 16, from Bedlington, said: “If it wasn’t for NCS, I would be at home isolated from friends. We’ve already missed out on school, prom, holidays and our summer plans. Often volunteering roles are only for over 18s and, sadly, the work experience I had planned in a primary school was cancelled.

“Through NCS I’ve been able to meet new people, strengthen my CV and give back to my community. Not only is this helping me, but it feels great to help people in Bedlington who need the most support right now.”

16 year old Jemma Joslin, from Bedlington, added: “The NCS and Groundwork initiative aims to help people stay positive after lockdown. We’ve put together packs filled with kind messages and created ‘bee kind’ bracelets.”

“We donated some of the bracelets to the British Heart Foundation store, in Morpeth, and straight away a customer collected one. She was overwhelmed and I think this was because she had been self-isolating, due to Covid-19, and no longer had contact with the outside world.  A small action can make a big difference to the lives of older people in our community.”

NCS volunteers also recently carried out a beach clean at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea. 

Lily Tibbitts, 16, from Amble, said: “We are all passionate about environmental and climate change projects. The seafront is a place that lots of people relied on during lockdown, and now that many are holidaying at home, so it was another simple action we could take.” 

To find out more about future NCS programmes visit wearencs.com.